Sons of Anarchy 4.3 – Dorylus

We’re only three weeks into the new season and already the cracks are starting to show in what appears to be the inevitable collapse of SAMCRO. With members split over the looming vote about whether they should get into the drug business with the Galindo cartel, Clay is trying to do everything he can to swing the result in his favor. It’s a little strange that he would try to convince Bobby to take his side considering he’s one of the cartel’s biggest detractors, but he actually seemed open to switching sides when approached with the prospect of taking over as President as reward for his loyalty. Of course, Clay was just playing him, because he’s already promised Jax to give the patch to Opie when he steps down, but Bobby didn’t know that – at least, not at the time.

But after witnessing Clay make a similar verbal promise to the Wahewa chief knowing full well that he was lying through his teeth, you could tell that Bobby wasn’t buying Clay’s faux act of sincerity any longer. Not that it really matters, because the decision went through even without his vote, albeit with plenty of drama. Piney should have known better than to go behind Clay’s back and involve Gemma in club business – and it’s likely earned him a permanent spot on Clay’s shit list (not to mention a death threat) as a result – but Gemma also needs to keep her nose out of where it doesn’t belong. Still, the look on her face after Clay’s outburst suggests that she’s never seen that side of him before, so it’ll be curious to see how that affects their relationship going forward.

And at the rate she’s going, Gemma might not have many allies by the time this season is over. She was already pushing her luck by breaking into Tara’s office once, but by doing it again, she was practically begging to get caught, which is exactly what happened when Tara’s boss walked in on her snooping around. That may have forced Gemma’s hand to take the more direct approach and confront Tara about Maureen’s letters, but while she claims that nothing good can come of Jax reading them, Tara seems to believe that she has another agenda – namely, protecting the truth about John Teller’s death. Tara clearly already has her suspicions just from the way she’s been behaving around Clay lately, but the fact that she’s gone through the trouble to make copies of the letters proves that she thinks Gemma is up to no good. SAMCRO’s queen bee may have finally met her match, and I don’t think she’s fully realized it yet.

Meanwhile, after his RICO case was seemingly ruined following the death of his undercover agent, Lincoln has turned his attention to SAMCRO in order to use their criminal dealings with the Russians and Real IRA to keep the investigation alive. He doesn’t have much to go on at the moment besides speculation about the Sons’ involvement with the Galindo cartel, so he sends Roosevelt into town to shake things up by attempting to turn Juice against the club. Apparently, Juice’s biological father is African-American, and Roosevelt thinks that SAMCRO wouldn’t take too kindly to that information. I find it hard to believe that the club would exile Juice because he’s half-black (he doesn’t even look it), so I’m hoping that nothing comes of this revelation, because the writing on this show is far too strong to fall back on such a weak subplot.

  

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Sons of Anarchy 4.2 – Booster

If tonight’s episode taught us anything, it’s that SAMCRO has gotten a lot smarter about the way it handles business – whether it’s selling guns or killing gangsters. Though dumping those dead Russians on Jacob Hale’s property development reeked of the club’s involvement, the decision to use Opie’s wedding as their alibi is already paying off. Not that Roosevelt is necessarily buying their cover story, but Lincoln knows that there’s nothing they can do about it for the time being. Of course, if SAMCRO is willing to sever their ties with the Russians so easily, Lincoln suggests that it can only mean one thing: they’re working with someone even bigger.

And as it just so happens, he’s right, with Alvarez serving as the middle man for introductions between SAMCRO and the Galindo drug cartel, which is run by a guy named Romeo, who, despite being played by the always intimidating Danny Trejo, actually seems like a pretty nice guy as far as drug traffickers go. Clay has struck a lucrative deal with Romeo to provide guns to the cartel, but when Jax learns that their new business venture includes transporting cocaine for them as well, he’s not a happy camper. Though working with Romeo comes with its benefits (namely, protection from the Russians and friends in high place), Jax doesn’t like that Clay has agreed to the deal without speaking to the rest of the club about it first.

There’s a reason for that, of course – no one would ever agree to it – but Clay is so desperate to make some quick money before he’s forced to step down as President that he asks Jax for his backing when he puts it to vote. Though Jax is completely against the idea of getting mixed up in the drug business, he agrees to help out Clay on one condition: when he finally does step down, Clay will back his decision to leave the club and push the vote for Opie to become the new President. Clay has no other choice to agree, but I can’t imagine how Tig or Bobby (who clearly have more seniority than Opie) will react when that day comes. Then again, what’s to say it ever will? Plus, Bobby isn’t on very good terms with Clay after locking horns over the vote, and he’s trying to get Tig on his side by convincing him that they’re no longer part of Clay’s inner circle.

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Sons of Anarchy 4.1 – Out

Season Four has been described as somewhat of a reboot by creator Kurt Sutter, but not in the sense that most people might think. Though there was definitely a feeling of starting fresh in tonight’s premiere, that doesn’t mean that all of the stuff that happened in the past has been forgotten. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, because the trouble that SAMCRO has gotten into this time around is a direct result of everything they’ve done in the past. They might not know the full extent of it just yet, but they certainly got a taste of what’s to come upon their arrival back in Charming.

Clay, Jax and the rest of the guys may be ready to get back to work, but there’s a new sheriff in town in the form of Eli Roosevelt who’s going to do everything in his power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Not only does Roosevelt have the full backing of Jacob Hale (who’s now mayor of Charming and moving ahead with plans to build luxury housing), but he’s a real by-the-books kind of guy with previous experience working with gangs, which apparently SAMCRO is now considered under the letter of the law. He also has another powerful ally in Lincoln Potter (what’s with all the characters named after former presidents?), an Assistant U.S. Attorney who requests Roosevelt’s help on a case that he’s quietly building against the Russians, the Real IRA and SAMCRO that would allow the FBI to take out all three of them in one fell swoop under the RICO Act.

Though the Russians weren’t too happy with the way that SAMCRO double-crossed them at the end of last season (nearly killing Jax in prison as retaliation), the two parties have since managed to make peace in order to continue doing business together. Meeting with Russian boss Putlova over the conditions of that deal was at the top of Clay’s to-do list as soon as he was released from prison. But when he realizes that the club is being watched like a hawk by Roosevelt’s men, the Sons devise a clever plan to distract the cops so that Clay, Jax and Opie can meet with Putlova without anyone knowing. And that ultimately proved to be more important than it was made to seem, because SAMCRO’s newfound partnership with the Russians didn’t last for very long.

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